Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A tightly fitted, often short-sleeved or sleeveless upper garment with a low collar and usually a high lower hem baring the midriff, worn next to the skin by women and girls in South Asia, frequently under a sari or other garment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun India a short-sleeved blouse worn under a sari

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Hindi colī and Urdu čolī, from Prakrit cōḷa-, piece of cloth, from Sanskrit coḍaḥ, jacket, doublet, of unknown origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

from Hindi चोली (choli, "bodice, blouse")

Examples

  • The choli is a bodice which is put on the female child, who never knows what stays are.

    The Romance of Isabel, Lady Burton

  • The choli is a bodice which is put on the female child, who never knows what stays are.

    The Romance of Isabel Lady Burton

  • The choli was a brief blouse that covered Mary's breasts, shoulders and upper arms, but left most of her back naked and Mary instinctively selected the most modest, but Lakshmi would have none of it.

    Sharpe's Tiger

  • It's the little top called a choli, over the top you wear a coin bra, there's a skirt, under that go the pantaloons, and the hip belt or a shawl that shows the dancing of the hips.

    SFGate: Top News Stories

  • The sari is usually worn over a petticoat (under skirt) with a blouse known as a choli forming the upper garment.

    RO.RSS

  • (or bambi in my lingo) had put her foot down and demanded for something different and not the usual fitted-draped sari with an almost backless 'choli', a humungous neckpiece and trademark

    ReadABlog.com New Blogs and RSS Feeds

  • (or bambi in my lingo) had put her foot down and demanded for something different and not the usual fitted-draped sari with an almost backless 'choli', a humungous neckpiece and trademark

    ReadABlog.com New Blogs and RSS Feeds

  • She did not speak when he lifted her effortlessly and carried her to the divan, undoing her choli and her ghagara, laying her out in front of his gaze.

    Shadow Princess

  • “Just one time, Ishaq,” she said, pleading, her fingers struggling with the ties of her choli.

    Shadow Princess

  • “Goharara,” Jahanara said, pulling the girl by the laces of her choli.

    Shadow Princess

Comments

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  • a midriff-baring blouse worn in India

    March 27, 2009

  • the blouse worn underneath a sari (though it's got other contexts, largely historical)

    May 24, 2009